October 2010

Bargaining with the devil

The title of our show, “Bargaining with the devil,” is supposed to bring to mind the issues of bargaining and compromise. These are good things, involved in virtually all cooperative and productive behavior. Everyone has to bargain. Even dictators need to bargain with other dictators and heads of state. But there are times when we shouldn't compromise because basic principles are involved; and there are issues that we shouldn't bargain about. Or so it seems.

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Philosophy Talk Live at The Marsh SF this Sunday

This Sunday we kick off another series of live recordings at the Marsh theater with two new shows in San Francisco:

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Digital Selves

A digital self isn’t really a person made out of numbers or fingers. It’s a computerized representation of a person. It can be a “VRS”---a virtual representation of yourself. Or a VRO --- a virtual representation of another person. So, important distinction: we've got me, the real person. And then there are representations of me: My name in the paper, my image in a mirror, the picture of me on our website, even my idea of myself in my own head, and your idea of me.

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Comments Will be Moderated, beginning immediately.

Like every blog,  we wage a constant war against spammers.   But spammers always seem to be ahead of the game.   They are able to leave hundreds of comments at once, even with the safeguards that Typepad has built into its software.  The only sure way to block the spammers  is to moderate comments --- something we haven't really wanted to do.   But it looks like its time to finally give moderation a try.   So starting now,  we will moderate comments.   That means that if you post a comment, it may take awhile to appear.

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The Occult Philosophy

These days, we tend to think of those who believe in the occult as soft-minded, superstitious, new-age hippie-types who would rather commune with imaginary mystical forces than face cold, hard scientific facts. But it wasn’t always so. During the Renaissance, for example, things like Alchemy, Astrology, White Magic, Hermeticism, Cabala, Numerology were intensely studied by some of the best minds in Europe. Literature from that period is often rife with references to the occult. The works of Shakespeare are a prime example.

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